Kevin Garnett Channels Teddy Roosevelt

The NBA playoffs are heating up and suddenly its obvious that, in many ways, Kevin Garnett represents the essence of American sports. He’s a champion who plays his heart out every night – leaving it all on the court. After lost night’s epic win and his great performance, he was asked what continues to motivate him after 17 seasons in the league, an NBA title, and hundreds of millions already earned: 

“The competition, the naysayers, the owners who talk too much. The people who don’t think a 36-year-old can do what I do. I take a lot of pride in my craft, I work really hard at my craft everyday, and I’m a true professional.” – Kevin Garnett, identifying what motivates him after taking a Game 5 win over Miami.

Reminds me of Teddy Roosevelt: 

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. 

Kevin Garnett should remind Americans why we love sports – and people who “actually strive to do the deeds” even after they’ve made it big. It’s a big part of what makes America great.